Thanks to Opus for sharing this link.
In this interview with Alan Moore, who wrote the original graphic novel of V for Vendetta, is absolutely right.
The Wachowskis’ film misunderstands the story, and distorts it to be about American liberalism versus American conservatism, instead of about anarchists versus fascists.
Sure, it’s takes place in a futuristic, fascistic London and the characters are British. And yes, you could say this is a cartoonish tale about Nazism.
But come on… the figureheads of British politics in this film have been given all kinds of details so that the audience sees them as a variation on the current U.S. administration. Personally, I think our current administration is misguided, but to react to it by portraying them as spit-spewing devils and child-molesting Christians… and then to glorify characters who organize a terrorist uprising… that’s downright stupid. And once again, we recognize the villains how? They’re the people who think homosexual activity is wrong. Once again, they make things black or white: You either celebrate homosexuality as the pinnacle of human relationship, or you’re a hateful bigot. There’s no room for anything inbetween.
The film spends so much energy demonizing conservatives and lampooning Christians that it never gives much thought to what we should believe in, what we should stand for. “People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people,” says V. And his views win out in the end. So, it’s still a film encouraging a culture of fear, and it concludes by recommending violent retaliation rather than diplomacy and hatred rather than communication.
Here’s a clip from Moore, who had his name removed from the film because he opposed this rewrite of the story:
As far I’m concerned, the two poles of politics were not Left Wing or Right Wing… it seemed to me the two more absolute extremes were anarchy and fascism. This was one of the things I objected to in the recent film, where it seems to be, from the script that I read, sort of recasting it as current American neo-conservatism vs. current American liberalism…
…I tried to be as fair about it as possible. I mean, yes, politically I’m an anarchist; at the same time I didn’t want to stick to just moral blacks and whites. I wanted a number of the fascists I portrayed to be real rounded characters. They’ve got reasons for what they do. They’re not necessarily cartoon Nazis. Some of them believe in what they do, some don’t believe in it but are doing it any way for practical reasons. As for the central character of the anarchist, V himself, he is for the first two or three episodes cheerfully going around murdering people, and the audience is loving it. They are really keyed into this traditional drama of a romantic anarchist who is going around murdering all the Nazi bad guys.
At which point I decided that that wasn’t what I wanted to say. I actually don’t think it’s right to kill people. So I made it very, very morally ambiguous. And the central question is, is this guy right? Or is he mad? What do you, the reader, think about this? Which struck me as a properly anarchist solution.